STORE: Store your Braeburn apples in a plastic bag in your fridge to keep them crisp.
PREP: Rinse apples under running water and peel or cut, depending on their purpose. To prevent browning on sliced apples, put the slices in a bowl of cold water with a few drops of lemon juice.
USE: Braeburn apples can be eaten out of hand, but are especially delicious when baked. They have a crisp, sweet taste and are perfect for applesauce, pies and cobblers.
STORE: Keep your pears at room temperature for up to one week or for up to three months in your refrigerator. Asian pears ripen on the tree so there is no need to wait for them to ripen at home.
PREP: Rinse pears thoroughly under cold water.
USE: Eat your Asian pears out of hand, use them as a crunchy salad topping, eat them with peanut butter, add them to a slaw or enjoy them on sandwiches.
STORE: Store fresh cranberries for up to two months in a tightly-sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator, or wash, and dry them and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
PREP: Wash cranberries in a colander and remove the stems.
USE: Cranberries are a hallmark of the holiday season. Use them in jams, sauces, side dishes or desserts. Try this beautiful Cranberry Upside-Down Cake from Martha Stewart: http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/favorite-cranberry-upside-down-cake.
STORE: Store unwashed cabbage in a plastic bag in your refrigerator
PREP: Remove the thick fibrous outer leaves and cut the cabbage into pieces and then wash under running water. To preserve its vitamin C content, cut and wash the cabbage right before cooking or eating it. To cut cabbage into smaller pieces, first quarter it and remove the core. Cabbage can be cut into slices of varying thickness, grated by hand or shredded in a food processor.
USE: Cabbage leaves are a great way to re-inspire your leftovers. Spoon some leftovers such as a rice salad or a vegetable mixture onto the center of a cabbage leaf and roll into a neat little package. Bake in medium heat oven until hot. Enjoy your easy and healthy version of stuffed cabbage, a traditional eastern European dish. You can also sauté cabbage and onions over brown rice for a hardy side dish or simply use shredded raw cabbage as a garnish for sandwiches.
STORE: Store ripe Fuyu persimmons at room temperature for up to three weeks. Keep in the refrigerator for up to two months.
PREP: Prepare ripe Fuyus by hulling them (cutting out their top and its attached flesh), slicing, and peeling them. Remove and discard the large black seeds as you encounter them.
USE: Replace the tomatoes in your favorite salsa recipe with chopped Fuyu persimmons for a sweet salsa snack.
Add Fuyu slices to spinach salads and stir-fries.
Serve peeled slices on a plate like you would apples, with a toothpick stuck into each one.
Freeze peeled slices and enjoy as Persimmon“Popsicles.”
Fun Fact: One medium persimmon is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber!
Since it is still early in the month of November, your persimmons may need to ripen a bit. You can enjoy them as they are, crunchy and lightly sweet, or let them soften up a bit a room temperature, they will darken in color and become sweeter. Look for bright orange and red-colored Fuyu persimmons with smooth skins. Ripe Fuyus should be firm. To ripen persimmons faster, place in a paper bag with an apple or pear in a warm place. The natural ethylene gas the ripening fruit emits will speed up the ripening process.